Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 20 April – Blessed Hildegun of Schönau (Died 1188) Virgin

Saint of the Day – 20 April – Blessed Hildegun of Schönau (Died 1188) Virgin, Cistercian Monk – yes! she was disguised as a boy as a child, for her own safety and after many frightening trials, decided to retain the identity in order to enter the Cistercian Monastery as Brother Joseph. Her true identity remained a secret until her death. Born in the Rhineland, Germany and died in 1188 in Schönau, Germany of natural causes. Also known as – Joseph, Brother Joseph, Hildegun of Neuss, Hildegunda of…. Hildegunde of…. Hildegund of…. (Hildegund should not be confused with Saint Hildegund (c1130–1178), whose Feast day is 6 February.)

Born to a noble family, her father Harper, took her on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1182, when she was 12 years old. However, after landing at Tyre, Lebanon, Harper took ill and knew he would die. He entrusted her to the care of his manservant and, realising the dangers that could meet the girl on her return journey, her father dressed her as a boy.

No sooner was Harper buried, however, than the servant absconded with the money given him for expenses and abandoned Hildegun. Still dressed as a boy, she took the name Joseph for the patron of families and children. Left to beg on the streets, a well-connected German pilgrim saw her and offered to return her to her home but failed to fulfil his plans.

By 1187, Hildegun was moved by a call to the religious life. Thus she entered the Cistercian Monastery at Schönau — without mentioning that she was a young woman.

After a year’s novitiate and three days before she was to take her monastic vows, she took ill, dying on 20 April 1188. Only while preparing her for burial did the Monks discover her actual sex.


Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s